Windows 10 Reportedly Adding a Game Mode That Would Improve Game Performance

Microsoft has not yet confirmed the feature's existence.


A new feature may be on the way to Windows 10 that improves performance when playing PC games. That's according to a file discovered in a leaked version of a forthcoming preview update.

Twitter user WalkingCat reports the addition of a dll called "gamemode" in the latest build of Windows 10 (version 14997). A subsequent tweet notes it "looks like Windows will adjust its resource allocation logic (for CPU/[graphics] etc.)" for the purpose of prioritizing game performance.

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WindowsCentral lends further credence to this, indicating that its sources say it works similarly to how Xbox One runs a game. The feature will reportedly launch as part of the Creators update and will be enabled for Windows Insider users soon.

What's unclear is exactly which games this is compatible with. It's possible it could be limited to only to those downloaded from the Windows Store, or it might be much more far-reaching. We should know more once Windows Insiders testers get their hands on the feature.

The Creators update is slated for release sometime this spring. Microsoft has announced it includes some additions of interest to those playing games, including new streaming and tournament features.

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Avatar image for Antarte

This is what MS should have done from Windows XP instead divide efforts with a pathetic console. If Microsoft would focused 100% in PC gaming today they would be like Steam, and maybe Steam would never exists... well... maybe we should thanks Microsoft for their stupidity because today Steam have more benefits of all consoles together being the best gaming plataform ever created, and I'm sure it is better than any "well done" version of GFW...

Avatar image for TazmanianD

If there was something Windows was doing to contribute to lower game performance in any significant fashion, I would think they would have addressed that a long time ago. Maybe now you can game while also encoding video or running some data analysis at the same time without slowing your game down...because we all want to do that :-/.

Avatar image for deactivated-5cf0a2e13dbde

Yep, like that 40% increase in performance DX12 gave us......

Avatar image for mighty-lu-bu

Well it only makes sense... Windows 10 is quickly becoming the most popular OS. I'd say in about another year it will finally topple Windows 7. I know a lot of people do not like Windows 10 (for whatever reason), but I have never had an issue with it.

Avatar image for Barighm

@Mighty-Lu-Bu: More like "infamous".

Avatar image for mighty-lu-bu

@Barighm: People just like to complain, that's what it really boils down to. Windows 10 isn't perfect, but neither was Windows 7 and I would easily say that Windows 10 is an upgrade. I've only been in the IT industry for about 3 years, but I have had a ton of experience with both Windows 7 and Windows 10 respectively (when I was in school it was all Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2). Windows 7 is a great operating system, but in reality it is starting to show its age and limitations. When it comes to PCs I only do three things: I play video games, I use MS office and I surf the web and Windows 10 lets me do all of those things just as good, if not better than Windows 7. As a consumer you can't go to Dell, or HP or any of the other big companies and get a Windows 7 machine unless have a rep (which most consumers don't)- Windows 7 machines in places like Costco, Fry's, Best Buy, etc have effectively been replaced by Windows 10 machines. By the numbers as of 2017, Windows 10 is being adopted 140% faster than Windows 7 and 400% faster than Windows 8.

Very soon, online retailers will not be carrying Windows 7 anymore and when that happens you have two options a) keep an undeniably great OS that is starting to show its age and limitations, or b) adopt Windows 10 that is undoubtedly better and that have continuous updates for the next 8 years.

Avatar image for externalpower43

This unlocks blast processing.

Avatar image for FallenOneX

Got a laptop last week, dealing with my first update now. Setting up the Ubuntu dual boot as soon as this is finished.

Avatar image for morg444

You mean it will turn off all the MSFT spyware? Cortana and search are the biggest resource hogs. Not to mention the 100 other process that run in the background that have nothing to do with operating the computer components, which is what an OS is suppose to do!

Avatar image for regulas

Maybe that means they will shut down the open back door that the kernel level attached IE allows the FEDS and all the other bloatware they always loved to run in the background even if you never used it.

Avatar image for nyran125tk

It might help. But if you really want better performance. Upgrade the ol pc.............

Avatar image for merenjeno

So, it would be like a Game Booster integrated. Hope they don't f it up.

Avatar image for jj2112

I've been hearing things like this since Windows 95...

Avatar image for emerin76

Be nice if it was a "boot to game mode" option. and we'll have a game specific OS. like xbox one.

we'll see

Avatar image for clonazepam

@emerin76: We pretty much already had this with Windows XP. You could create multiple Hardware Profiles, and then deactivate hardware devices AND services per profile. This was very handy for a lot of things. I used to boot into a profile for single player games that removed all networking features and unnecessary hardware (those drivers don't load at boot). Did it make a whole lot of difference? Probably not too much.

It was also useful if you had multiple devices for different tasks that didn't play well with each other when they were all connected, driver conflicts, etc. You could just boot into the hardware profile that you needed to get a specific job done. Reboot into another as needed. Most of those issues have been resolved over time in different ways, but it has always been a missed feature of the more recent Windows.

Avatar image for tranceology3

@emerin76: I think what we will see is something like this, but an Xbox PC. It will be biased for games, but will switch to Windows 10.

Considering Xbox is running an OS similar to Windows right now.

Avatar image for DefunktJunk

@emerin76: I like the way you think. I've been wanting something like this on PC as well.

Avatar image for regulas

@emerin76: The Spybox One has 10% of the system resource set aside for other duties, as in spying for their overlords the FED.

Avatar image for karlsten13

@regulas Unfortunately that is the case,the backdoor has been built in to all chip controlled(read computer/computing) devices as far back as the 70's to enable this Big Brother technocracy crap,and has been perverted by the US government,which is beyond corrupt,i'm afraid not even Hercules could clean the crap out the Washington DC Augean Stables...

Avatar image for emerin76

@karlsten13: Maybe we should call Xena.

Avatar image for Gbullet

In other non-related news - Anyone else excited for the 1080ti??? Read that it is being announced at CES 2017 and released in January! I cannot wait!

Avatar image for Gbullet

@pasullica: I still have my ZOTAC Nvidia Gtx 980ti AMP Extreme Edition, didn't get the 1080 because I want the 1080ti.

Avatar image for nyran125tk

@Gbullet: It will be so fckin expensive.

Avatar image for Gbullet

@nyran125tk: Will it be around the 700 dollar mark? Or 800?

Avatar image for guitarist1980

@Gbullet: Possibly I got the 1080 but Vega 10 is apparently bigger than Titan XP. Whether the performance is there, we will find out soon.

Avatar image for Gbullet

@guitarist1980: what you are saying is that VEGA 10 will be better than the 1080TI? Very nice, I simply cannot wait for more updates.

Avatar image for bbq_R0ADK1LL

It goes to show just how bad MS has been over recent years that nobody is giving them the benefit of the doubt here.

This seems like a fairly basic thing that can be switched on in all games, not just UWP apps. Essentially it should stop other background processes from triggering while you're in game & prioritise resources better. It's probably not something that will make a big difference for high end machines but it should help out low-mid range PCs that sometimes have RAM or CPU resources taken up by a browser tab left open or whatever else.

It seems like a positive step forwards & I'm glad that MS is finally coming through on some of their promises to make the PC a better place for gaming. If this Game Mode suddenly gives a performance drop to Steam games, people will notice. It doesn't hurt to be a little skeptical but everybody can probably take off their tinfoil hats for now.

Avatar image for ecs33

It wouldn't be wise to limit this to Windows online games. Steam users, etc. don't have to use an MS operating system, and other OS's could certainly compete and make a similar feature available.

Avatar image for pcps4xb

I'm sure this has something to do with the recent AAA games not performing very well on PC.

Avatar image for dlaney34

@pcps4xb: No, it doesn't. That has to do with shoddy 3rd party teams porting games. Both the fail batman, and dishonored 2 ports were done by outsourced 3rd party teams, rather then in house. The results = disastrous.

Avatar image for pcps4xb

@dlaney34: this is true. Although Batman is good now but way too late to the party

Avatar image for ecs33

@dlaney34: Yep. In my dev experiences throughout my entire career, performance issues are typically due to terrible programming that inefficiently pegs hardware. While not game dev, I'm sure there are similar issues in that industry. And it's always "third party consultant" solutions that always fail and never document.

Avatar image for atopp399

It would be kind of funny if they limited this to Windows store games.

Avatar image for dlaney34

@atopp399: Sounds a lot like what MS would do.

Avatar image for ghost140

@dlaney34: That is exactly what MS is going to do.

Avatar image for khjsaw

Directx 12 improvin game performance on low end pcs all over again...fuc me microsoft....if this is another lie im going to buy a ps4 for real

Avatar image for Rhysis

@khjsaw: I have a 6 year old PC that can basically run games slightly better than a 360/PS3, mainly Skyrim and Diablo 3, you know, older games. I costed out all the parts in my rig last week and after looking for the lowest prices of my components my 6 year old PC would still cost a person appx. $500-$600. I spent $350 on a PS4, and it can play Doom, Titanfall 2, and The Elder Scrolls Online much better than my PC. I still use my PC, for older games and MOBA's along with older shooters (I like the twitchy run and gun stuff; Quake, Unreal, TF2, and CS:GO) That all said, I don't regret spending $350 on a multimedia platform everyone in my house can enjoy versus the appx. $400-$500 more I'll need to spend to upgrade the PC, that I use by myself and don't let anyone touch.

Avatar image for simplytheebest

@khjsaw: Then the joke would be on you and at your expense. When has sony ever improved overall game performance by patching their OS? If it's copying how they allocate resources from the XO like the article says then it's definitely a probable thing. Forza Horizon 3 XO version for example runs so much better than equivalent PC hardware. It runs at the PC's high setting, but try running it on a 4 year old PC at high settings.

Avatar image for LPDisturbedHU

@khjsaw: Why would MS care if you bought a PS4?

You've already given them money. lol

Avatar image for Rushaoz

@khjsaw: There still isn't a game that's been built from the ground up on DX12 or Vulcan. All the games so far have had DX12 tacked onto it. If the game has a DX11 option, then it had DX12 tacked on. Which is why you're not seeing much of a difference. Not Microsoft's problem I'm afraid. Also I think this game mode is just going to allocate resources which would otherwise be available to a tech savvy PC gamer to all PC gamers. Virtual paging, CPU priority and core parking, etc.